Best Expensive Italian Restaurant Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2002 - Cafe Martorano
3343 E. Oakland Park Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Readers' Choice: Casa d'Angelo
Chef-owner Steve Martorano likes it when his establishment is compared to a place you might see on The Sopranos or spot in a Godfather film. In fact, he even plays gangster movies and runs modern mob episodes on the multiple televisions posted throughout this South Philly-style trattoria and turns up the volume when a particularly, er, juicy part comes on. Despite the plethora of F-bombs bursting in air, both fare and service are far from coarse. Indeed, the place is so popular that you can count on a one-to-two-hour wait, but Martorano makes sure his clients are taken care of while they tap toes -- he sends out his hometown Philly cheese steaks as amuse-bouches. Like any true artist, Martorano doesn't care much for convention and won't accept reservations -- or even phone calls, for that matter. But he has been known to send out his signature meatballs, veal Parmesan, or fettuccine Alfredo to celebrities like Dan Marino, who has been spotted lounging in his car rather than at the bar. Like a starting lineup, the dishes might change daily, but the talent that went into preparing the game plan never fails to win praise.